Turkey, curfew during the pandemic

Turkey plans to reopen schools and lift coronavirus restrictions

The evolution of the coronavirus pandemic is good in Turkey, where infections have fallen below 6,000 a day.

Turkey plans to reopen schools with face-to-face classes from February 15, as announced just a few days ago by a member of the government, while the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic could begin to relax in the second half of March given the continued decline which is recorded in the number of COVID-19 patients and the good pace of vaccination against the virus.

In light of the good data on the evolution of the pandemic in recent weeks, the Turkish authorities have already begun to develop a de-escalation strategy for the coming months, and that according to the Turkish press could begin by relaxing restrictions such as curfews, which currently prohibits going out from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in weekdays and all along weekends (from 9:00 p.m. on Friday to 5:00 a.m. on Monday).

Thus, the prohibition to go out on the street from Friday night until Monday morning could be limited to only the hours during the night, and the start of the curfew during the weekdays could also be delayed until 11:00 p.m. In addition, restaurants and cafes – which currently can only serve take-out food – could reopen to the public under certain conditions, accepting customers with a valid HES code – an app that shows their health status.

Schools reopening in February

Regarding the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools, the Turkish Minister of Education Ziya Selçuk affirmed late on Sunday in statements to CNN Türk that a decision has been made to reopen the educational centres as of 15 February, although the details have not yet been finalised and will be released 10 days before the scheduled date, depending on the situation of the pandemic.

However, as announced by the Ministry of Education, private centres dedicated to reinforcement classes and to help students in preparing exams will be able to reopen face-to-face classes from tomorrow, Friday, January 22, although strictly complying with security protocols, including the use of masks and the maintenance of social distance.

Following the first wave of the pandemic in March, Turkey began providing online classes to students through the EBA distance education network; although in September face-to-face classes began gradually starting for a few hours a week for preschool and primary school students, since November 20 distance classes became mandatory again amid the increase in infections due to the second wave of the pandemic.

In recent weeks, the number of positive cases throughout Turkey has fallen below the 10,000 daily contagion barrier, with infections falling by up to 60% compared to two months ago, which is why the Turkish authorities are already considering the reopening of schools and the relaxation of some of the restrictions imposed between the end of November and the beginning of December 2020.